Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Wary Wildcatter 

A man is caught on camera killing his wife by pushing her over a cliff in a car. The photographer blackmails the man bleeding him dry as the man cons others by overselling ownership in a wildcat well. The con man is murdered himself.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lucky Sterling
Madelyn Terry
Charles Houston
Lori March ...
Paula Wallace
Floyd Gordon
Harry Jackson ...
Roger Byrd
Officer (as Larry Blake)
Anthony De Mario ...
Court Clerk


Freelance photographer Roger Byrd takes telephoto pictures of oil wildcatter Charles Houston pushing a car over a cliff with his wife Evelyn in it. Houston pays Byrd blackmail over several payments bleeding him dry, then offers a share in a prospective well, but Byrd refuses. Houston then reluctantly sells big time gambler Lucky Sterling 50% of the action for $20,000 to pay off Byrd. Byrd double-crosses Houston and offers to sell the incriminating photos to Paula Wallace, Evelyn's sister, who intends to pay Byrd with money from her 50% of Houston's well. Paula consults Perry Mason but does not tell him the whole truth. Incredibly, the 180% oversold wildcat well comes in a huge producer. Charles flees and is found dead in Byrd's apartment by Paula, shot with Evelyn's gun. Someone locks her in the apartment and turns out the lights forcing her to escape via the fire escape but she is caught by the police. Paula is charged with murder, and Perry has to sort things out. Written by richardann

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

20 February 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Perry and Hamilton have switched sides in the court room. See more »


The murder victim was killed with a .32-caliber bullet, but the murder weapon left lying near the body was a Smith and Wesson .22 Kit Gun. See more »


[first lines]
Charles Houston: [looking at incriminating photos of him] I've already paid you $25,000 for these.
Roger Byrd: [laughing] Oh, no, Houston, you've been paying me for goodwill. Now's your chance to pay me for them... For keeps. $20,000.
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User Reviews

Sleazy people
27 September 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This Perry Mason episode is about some sleazy people. Freelance photographer Harry Jackson happens to take some pictures of Byron Palmer rolling a car off a cliff with his dead wife's body in it. Jackson knows an opportunity when he sees it and blackmails Palmer for several months.

But that well is running dry and that's not just an expression. Palmer is an oil wildcatter also one of the sleazier of that breed. He's oversold shares in his oil well that his drilling operator King Calder says will be a titanic gusher. Trying to make his last bit of money to pay off Jackson, Palmer sells yet another share to gambler Douglas Kennedy.

In the meantime the only non-sleaze in the cast Lori March plays the sister of Palmer's late wife and she's contacted Raymond Burr. She'll need him when Palmer is murdered and she's at the crime scene.

But Perry Mason defends no guilty clients and in this sleazy crowd the murderer is rather obvious.

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